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ATPM 7.05
May 2001




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Apple Cider: Random Squeezings From a Mac User

by Tom Iovino,

The Amazing, Expanding Iovino Clan


What? Hmmmm. Sorry, I was drooling on my pillow. I’m awake now. Quick, give me a cup of coffee!

On Friday, April 13th, I became a dad for the second time. I know it sounds like bad luck, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our new son, Steven Michael, is one healthy, handsome fellow. He’s a lot of fun to be around.

Except for one problem.

Come on, you parents out there. You know what I’m talking about.

It’s that whole overnight sleep deprivation thing. I’m convinced that our boy is part vampire. Once the sun goes down, he wakes up, ready to have some fun through the evening hours.

For the uninitiated, imagine that you own an alarm clock. All night long, this alarm clock goes off for an hour at a time. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. And, there’s no way to turn it off or get away from it. After the hour, the clock goes silent for about two hours, then it goes off again for a full hour. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

That would explain why whenever you visit or call a house with a new baby in it, you can get some interesting responses from the new parents.

Caller: Hey, Tom. Congratulations on the new baby!

Tom: I didn’t take the trash out yet.

Caller: Uhh, OK. So, how are you guys doing?

Tom: No, Mom, I don’t have school today. It’s Sunday.

Caller: OK. Let me call you back later.

Our family has also been celebrating a Babymoon of sorts. I took two weeks off from work to help out around the house while we get into a routine, and we have been keeping the visitors to a minimum. After changing dozens of diapers, allowing our older son to watch Thomas the Tank Engine videos all day long, and trying to dig out from under a mountain of dirty laundry waiting to be washed, I’m just about ready to have some contact with other adults.

Unfortunately, the only people I have been in touch with have either been those at my office (“So, Tom, are you going to be awake enough to come back to work any time soon?”) and our friends and relatives who love to get the boys all fired up and then take off, leaving me and wife to get them calmed down.

One outlet I have had during our Babymoon has been our computer. Computers have really revolutionized the lives of new parents. There are a number of sites on the Internet that deal with parenting issues. From the health of your new child—Hey, is it ok for my child to spit up all over himself after every feeding, and just how do I get spit-up stains off of my couch?—to negotiating the tricky interpersonal arrangements between you and your spouse in the aftermath of the new child’s arrival (When will the crying, screaming and drinking out of the bottle end, or will I be carrying on like this until my son sleeps through the night?).

One word of warning, however: a few discussion boards are frequented by people with some extreme viewpoints. Three topics in particular—breast-feeding, circumcision of boys, and anesthesia during labor and delivery—can spark some intense and ill-tempered responses from these—for lack of a better term—combatants. Unfortunately, some people who post to these boards fancy themselves experts whose viewpoints are not open to debate. My advice to any new parents out there who want to post to these boards is to either ignore the extremists, or to look for a message board that is carefully monitored to ensure that posts remain respectful and germane.

Another thing I have been using my computer for is to take my mind completely off the entire baby thing. No, I’m not ignoring my kids, but I can surf the Internet to look for topics that can distract me from the daily grind of parenthood. I’ve been going to the Internet Movie Database to check out potential movie rentals for me and my wife to enjoy while the kidlings are asleep.

Finally, I have found my computer invaluable for communicating with my friends and relatives from across the country about the good news. When we purchased our photo package from the company that takes baby pictures in the hospital, they offered a free site for us in their virtual nursery to post our son’s photo. I know that my mom has taken Steven’s picture off of the Web site and made it her screen saver at work. Who ever said that my mom never got excited about her new grandchildren? Also, we’ve been able to keep in touch with other friends and relatives via e-mail, saving lots of money on the old long distance phone bill.

Well, my three-year-old boy has just woken from his nap, and he’s begging for more videos. At least our new little one is snoozing right now, which makes it easier for me to handle. Of course, the fact that our newborn is sleeping in the middle of the day means that he’ll be up all night.

Oh, well. Knowing in the end that my two boys will grow up to be men one day makes it all worthwhile.

Someone get my pillow!

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